Posts tagged ‘technology’


Cisco joins flurry of U.S.-China tech partnerships | Reuters

Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) said Thursday it would form a joint-venture with Chinese server maker Inspur to sell networking and cloud computing products in China, where the Silicon Valley firm faces political pressure and declining sales.

Chuck Robbins, incoming CEO of Cisco, listens a question from media during a news conference in New Delhi, India, June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Cisco and Inspur said they would invest $100 million in the project, although they offered few other details.

The partnership is one of a growing number of tie-ups between Chinese and U.S. technology firms announced during or ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States this week.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Thursday it would partner with Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) and Chinese state-owned private investment firm Tsinghua Unigroup on cloud technology, while Dell Inc announced last week it would invest $125 billion over five years in China.

Earlier this year, IBM (IBM.N) pledged to help develop China’s advanced chip industry with a “Made with China” strategy, while chipmakers Intel Corp (INTC.O) and Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) are developing chips with smaller Chinese companies.

Similar to its dealings with the foreign auto industry in decades past, Chinese officials have made clear to foreign technology firms that market access depends on their sharing technology and cooperating with Chinese industry.

Like many of its peers, Cisco’s market share has retreated in recent quarters in China, where its products have been labeled a cybersecurity threat by state media and government-affiliated experts.

U.S. business lobbies have said the Chinese allegations amount to protectionism, while China has pointed to the experience of Cisco’s Shenzhen-based rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], which faced similar accusations from Capitol Hill when it sought to enter the United States.

Source: Cisco joins flurry of U.S.-China tech partnerships | Reuters


Modi wants more technology transfer from global defence firms | Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked global defence contractors to transfer more technology to India as part of the lucrative deals that they win to modernise its armed forces.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends an event organised by the Christian community to celebrate the beatification of two Indians by Pope Francis late last year, in New Delhi February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

The country’s offsets policy, which requires contractors to invest a percentage of the value of the deal in India, will be tweaked to encourage more technology transfer, and less simple assembly or production, Modi said at the opening ceremony of the Aero India airshow at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru.

“We have the reputation as the largest importer of defence equipment. This may be music to the ears of some of you. But this is an area where we do not want to be number one,” Modi said before an air display of Indian military planes.

“It will no longer be enough to buy equipment and simply assemble here.”

India is forecast to spend $250 billion over the next decade to upgrade its military, which still largely relies on Russian equipment it bought from the 1960s to the 1980s, and catch up with strategic rivals like China.

via Modi wants more technology transfer from global defence firms | Reuters.


Chinese helicopter saves 52 in Antarctica –

All 52 passengers stranded on the Russian research ship Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica for nine days were rescued by a Chinese helicopter on Thursday.

Chinese helicopter saves 52 in Antarctica

The helicopter from the Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, transferred the passengers to an ice floe close to Aurora Australis, an Australian Antarctic supply ship.

\”I think everyone is relieved and excited to be going on to the Australian icebreaker and then home,\” Chris Turney, leader of the Russian expedition, told the Associated Press by satellite phone from the Russian vessel, which has been stuck in the ice since Christmas Eve.

He posted on Twitter that the helicopter had arrived at the Akademik Shokalskiy, saying \”huge thanks to all\”.

The helicopter Xueying 12, or Snow Eagle 12, made six trips to pick up all the passengers and their luggage.

The passengers comprised scientists, tourists and journalists who were scheduled to follow in the footsteps of Australian Douglas Mawson and his 1911-14 expedition.

via Chinese helicopter saves 52 in Antarctica –

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Could China lead the race to develop world’s first invisibility cloak? | South China Morning Post

Scientists on the mainland say they are increasingly confident of developing the world’s first practical invisibility cloak, using technology to hide objects from view and make them “disappear’’.


At least 40 research teams have been funded by the central government over the past three years to develop the idea, which in recent decades has largely been the stuff of science fiction and fantasy novels like the Harry Potter series than science fact.

The technology would have obvious military uses, such as developing stealth aircraft, but Beijing believes the research could lead to wider technological breakthroughs with broader uses, scientists involved in the research said.

The teams involved include researchers at Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China\’\’s J-20 stealth fighter jet. The invisibility technology would have obvious military uses, such as developing stealth aircraft. Photo: SCMP Pictures

The main approaches are developing materials that guide light away from an object; creating electromagnetic fields to bend light away from what you are trying to hide, plus copying nature to make high-tech camouflage materials.

A team led by professor Chen Hongsheng at Zhejiang University released a video earlier this month demonstrating a device that made fish invisible. The same technology also made a cat “disappear’’.

The device was made of a hexagonal array of glass panels, which bends light around the object, making it disappear from view.

Other teams on the mainland have made similar breakthroughs during their research. Professor Ma Yungui, an optical engineering scientist who also works at Zhejiang University, said his team would soon announce their latest finding: a device that stops objects being detected by heat sensors or metal detectors.

via Could China lead the race to develop world’s first invisibility cloak? | South China Morning Post.


Social media not a game changer in 2014 elections

Reuters: “Political parties in India are relying more on social media ahead of the 2014 election as a way of increasing voter support, even though politicians in general do not expect such efforts to significantly influence election results.

Parties are trying to ride the digital wave by conducting workshops to teach leaders and foot soldiers how to improve engagement on websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The country of 1.2 billion people had around 165 million Internet users as of March, the third-largest in the world, according to data from India’s telecommunications regulator. But the number of social media users is likely to grow to about 80 million by mid-2014, a report released in February said.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s main opposition party, social media is helping as an “accelerator” in conveying their messages to the public.

“I don’t call it a game changer, but an accelerator in this election … it’s definitely setting a narrative, it is influencing a lot of people,” Arvind Gupta, head of the BJP’s IT division, said in an interview.

via India Insight.


Hard Facts on China

I believe that the data in the referenced material below is valid, but not sure of the conclusions.


China’s Shanghai Tower: A massive urban green space

If true, very impressive.

China Daily Mail

The newly-topped 632 metre (over 2000 feet) Shanghai Tower is currently the world’s second tallest structure, outdone only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

But equally impressive is what it will have going on inside.

In addition to 521,000 square meters of floor space, 106 elevators, a weight of 1,200 metric tons, and the ability to hold 30,000 people, a full one-third of the building is dedicated to green spaces.

In this respect, the Shanghai Tower is more of a self-contained city than a tower, and a city of parks at that.

Back in August, the building’s designers, Gensler Asia, held a topping-out ceremony where the lead designer (Dan Whiney) spoke about the buildings purpose and inspiration:

“Our client essentially is the government. The government is looking for a symbol of the emergence of China, the development of Shanghai as a major financial centre. If you look at…

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China’s Smartphone Generation

BusinessWeek: “Every day at noon, workers spill out through the red gates of the Xue Fulan garment factory on the outskirts of Beijing to enjoy one precious hour of lunchtime freedom. They are mostly in their late teens or early 20s, living in no-frills dormitories within the factory complex. Most saunter out on a hot summer day with a water bottle in one hand and a smartphone in the other.

Commuters use their phones riding a Metro train in Shenzhen City, China

While personal computers are rare inside the factory, many of these young migrant workers—who are just climbing onto the lowest rung of the urban economic ladder—are now on the Internet daily. With 12-hour workdays, their free hours are scarce, but they still find time to use social media and dating apps, play video games, and read lifestyle and news sites, where they can catch a glimpse of the upscale urban life they aspire to.

Last week the government-affiliated China Internet Network Information Center reported that 591 million people in China now have Internet access; that’s 45 percent of the population. Just six years ago, only 16 percent of China’s population was online. Among the drivers of the steep rise in Internet penetration: the rapid adoption of Internet-enabled mobile devices, especially among groups that previously lacked regular connectivity, including China’s migrant workers. More than three-quarters of China’s netizens (464 million people) now use a mobile Internet device—instead of, or in addition to, a laptop or PC.

Kantar Media, a U.K.-based global consumer research and consulting firm, polled nearly 100,000 Chinese Internet users about their online habits and preferences in 2012 and just released its analysis of the study: 59 percent of respondents said that online chat and dating were their favorite uses of the mobile Internet, while 43 percent described themselves as “frequent” users of social media. Notably, the number of Chinese netizens who claimed they had visited a social media site in the past day was higher among mobile Internet users (32 percent) than among all netizens (26 percent). Weixin (“WeChat”), Tencent’s (700:HK) popular social-media app, is almost exclusively used on smartphones and tablets.

Megacity commutes are also correlated with more time online. In 2012, Chinese commuters who travelled more than one hour to work were three times as likely to go online daily as those whose commutes were under a half hour. As China’s large cities sprawl, traffic jams proliferate as well. Shen Ying, a general manager at CTR Media, Kantar Media’s joint-venture partner in China, believes that the “fragmentation of ‘social’ time created by longer commutes” goes hand in hand with the “desire for social networking.” Fortunately for China’s lonely subway passengers, Internet access on Beijing’s subway is more stable than on New York City’s.”

via China’s Smartphone Generation – Businessweek.


Hello 3D printing, goodbye China

If the following article’s predictions do come true, then the world economy as we know it will be destroyed as the unintended consequence. No trucks, freight trains, container ships, no major manufacturing facilities, no major hub warehouses. No truck and freight train drivers, no container ship crews, no depot warehousemen. No truck, freight train, container ship manufacturers; less construction workers and companies. And there will be further knock-on effects. I wonder …

Sunday Times: “A SPECTRE is haunting the great container ship ports of China, with their highways jammed by lorries and the vast factory estates stretching from the coast of the South China Sea to the mountainous inland provinces.

Cheap Chinese labour could be made redundant by 3D printers (Chu Yang)

It is the spectre of a revolution led by a quiet, software-driven 3D printer, a machine that can laser up layers of liquid or granular resin — or even cell tissue — into a finished product.

Some 3D printers are huge devices that make complete components such as aircraft parts. Others are small units that could stand next to a desk and create a small plastic prototype.

Maplin, the British electronics retailer, said last week it would start selling one for just £700. The Velleman K8200 will allow those who are so inclined to make simple objects — mobile phone covers, perhaps, or toys.

“The only restriction is your imagination. You can make whatever you want,” said Pieter Nartus, export manager at Velleman.

To visionaries in the West, the digital 3D printer promises to disrupt conventional manufacturing and supply chains so radically that advocates compare its impact to the advent of the production line, or the internet.

In China, whose big factories are thinking of using giant 3D printers for manufacturing, the technology does not seem to pose an immediate threat.

“It is on their horizon but it is not a factor right now,” says a British buying agent who sources plastics in China.

However, as Chinese leaders ought to know from their compulsory classes in Karl Marx, control of the means of production is everything. And if 3D printing takes off, production will come back to a place near you.

The implications, economists say, are limitless. No huge factories. No fleets of trucks. No ships. No supply chain. No tariffs. Few middlemen. Orders tailored exactly to demand, so no need for stock and warehouses. Just a printer, raw materials, software and a design.

The advantages do not end there. Because the item is “sintered” — created from a powdered material — to precise settings using a laser, there is no waste such as metal shavings. To customise a product, the user simply changes the software. An operator presses a button and the printer spits out the item.

“The first implication is that more goods will be manufactured at or closer to their point of purchase or consumption,” said Richard D’Aveni, a professor at Dartmouth College in America.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, D’Aveni predicted the elimination of the long supply chain linked to a huge factory staffed by cheap workers and sited on the other side of the world.

It may be the most significant, if underplayed, article in that distinguished publication in decades.

via Hello 3D printing, goodbye China | The Sunday Times.


In China, Big Data Is Becoming Big Business

Business Week: “With 1.3 billion people, a quickly expanding urban economy, and rising rates of Internet and smartphone penetration, China generates an immense amount of data annually. If streams of that data can be appropriately sifted, analyzed, and stored, companies seeking to understand China’s often-fickle consumers could have access to valuable real-time insights—and perhaps early warning to the next big consumer trends.

Shopping drives Beijing's Sanlitun area

At a presentation last week at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, China’s premier business school, associate professor of marketing Meng Su predicted: “China will soon become world’s most important data market.” He advised job seekers in China and elsewhere to consider training for a new career path as “data scientists,” which he described as “one of the most valuable jobs in the next 10 years.” Interpreting big data seems poised to become big business.

China’s government has signaled its intention to help domestic enterprises develop the infrastructure necessary to store and analyze “big data”—that is, data sets too large to be handled by traditional database-management tools and software. The current Five Year Plan, which aims to stimulate “higher-quality growth,” names seven strategic “emerging industries,” including next-generation information technology.

Meanwhile, leading Chinese firms, especially Internet companies, have already begun to incorporate big data into their strategies. Jack Ma, founder and then-chief executive officer of China’s e-tail giant Alibaba, declared last fall that the company should focus on three pillars of future business: e-commerce, finance (providing loans to small and medium enterprises in China), and data mining. In January, Alibaba underwent a restructuring that, among other changes, created a data-platform division with about 800 employees, as reported in the Chinese financial magazine, Caixin. The Alibaba Group has just begun to scratch the surface of analyzing the reams of user data generated through its business-to-business e-commerce site and its massive consumer-to-consumer platform,

Professor Su warned, however, that the hype around big data in China may be a case of too much, too soon: “If everyone is talking about something, there is probably already a bubble,” at least of expectations, he said. “Most Chinese companies don’t own enough data, let alone know how to utilize, analyze, or monetize their data.” In other words, a select number of companies in China that do own large quantities of user-generated data—such as Alibaba and Baidu (BIDU)—hold the cards and may profitably sell that valuable information to other vendors.”

via In China, Big Data Is Becoming Big Business – Businessweek.

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